Being a first time Author, I had no idea how complex the editing process was. My idea of editing included spell check, making sure punctuation was used appropriately, and everything was in the right tense (past, present…).
As I stated in an earlier blog, my novel was rejected the first time for having grammatical and structural errors, as well as dragging dialogue. Keep in mind this wasn’t the complete manuscript. The agent would have probably found far worse, if she had read the entire manuscript.
When you begin editing, and you will, you’ll want to take a closer look at everything. You may need to do some research, take classes, or do tutorial type seminars online. Below is a sample of the types of questions you should be asking as you read through your work.
- How’s the flow of your dialogue? Is it necessary? Does it move your story forward or just sit like a rock taking up space and killing the moment?
- How is the pacing? I like novels that move at a faster pace, however I know you have to slow them down occasionaly so the reader can catch their breath.
- Does your plot make sense, does it flow throughout the story with smooth transitions from chapter to chapter?
- What about your character development? Have you created real, likable Characters? Can your reader identify with them?
- Word choice-is there a better way to say something?
- Are you showing and not telling?
- Have you mastered emotions you are trying to convey? Can you feel the tension rising?
Ask others to read your work as well. If you would prefer not to do that, then join a group online (Scribophile.com) and have fellow writers read and critique what you have written. There is a large community of aspiring authors out there that would love the opportunity to interface and exchange information.
Something to think about.